Community Investment Process: Accountability of your Dollars
United Way of Southern Maine is one of the hundreds of organizations that have embraced Thrive2027, our community’s 10-year effort to achieve measurable progress in the areas of education, financial stability, and health. United Way of Southern Maine is playing its part in ensuring the success of Thrive2027 by utilizing strategies such as public policy, community engagement, and financial support, including investment toward direct services and other community initiatives that help achieve Thrive2027 Goals.
The community investment process kicks off with an open request for proposals in January. The process is competitive, in which nonprofits and collaboratives bring forward their best work connected to strategies that will have the greatest impact on the Thrive2027 Goals.
Investments to community partners are made based on expert advice and under the direction of local volunteers in the areas of education, financial stability, and health in Southern Maine. These volunteers include community leaders and representatives of key corporate partners. More than 45 volunteers, with the support of United Way staff, devote more than 600 collective hours determining which programs best support the strategies to achieve Thrive2027 Goals.
After three years of careful planning and collaboration with our community partners, United Way shifted from funding programs based on their ability to deliver on the agency’s mission to funding programs based on their ability to deliver on Thrive2027, the community’s goals. And this change, while transformational, rests on the foundation of a United Way that has always been willing to stretch and change toward the needs of the community.
Today, United Way is more deeply engaged with our community, is co-creating community-based change strategies with a wider diversity of people and organizations, and is bringing our community together around a common vision, a common agenda, and a common path forward.